As hospitalizations soar, convalescent plasma needed now

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With the spike in hospitalizations, LifeServe Blood Centers need convalescent plasma donors.

DES MOINES, Iowa — LifeServe Blood Center, the sole provider of blood to more than 120 hospitals across Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, is seeking community members who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 antibodies in order to donate convalescent plasma to meet the dramatically rising plasma needs of local hospitals.

As the number of daily COVID-19 cases in our region rises, so does the need for convalescent plasma (CCP) in local hospitals, according to said Danielle West, director of marketing and public relations at LifeServe Blood Center. November has seen the highest CCP usage since the beginning of the pandemic and as patient hospitalizations continue to increase, it is projected that the amount of CCP needed for treatment will outpace the amount of donations of this lifesaving blood product.

“In the past fourteen days, LifeServe has provided more than 650 units of convalescent plasma to local hospitals” West said. “We’re asking for the public’s help to spread the word and for people who have recovered from COVID to step up and donate. We expect the demand for this type of blood product to double in the coming week. Only plasma given to a community blood center such as LifeServe Blood Center can help local hospital patients. Plasma given to a paid plasma center is needed for pharmaceutical use. While that is important, it will not immediately impact patients in our hospitals today.”

An eligible COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor will have tested positive for COVID-19 or have tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies. Individuals who believe they had COVID-19 but never received positive confirmation are encouraged to complete the CCP assessment form on the LifeServe Blood Center website to determine eligibility.

Additionally, all blood donors receive an antibody test as part of the regular donation process. Potential donors can schedule an appointment or seek more information at the LifeServe Blood Center website or by calling 800-287-4903.

LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community-based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients since 1963. As one of the 15 largest blood centers in the country, LifeServe Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood products to more than 120 hospitals located across Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

LifeServe is committed to saving lives by providing premier service to volunteer blood donors and access to a safe, quality blood supply for hospitals and patients. Your donation with LifeServe will help save your neighbor, a friend, family member or a stranger on the street. You make a difference in your community. For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 800-287-4903 or visit www.lifeservebloodcenter.org.

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